• Matt Owen

Priority one

Before any Jurisdiction on the Eastern Seaboard of Australia ever considered embracing Australia Eastern Daylight Time – AEDT – there was a much bigger problem within our then current standard time zones that should have been addressed.

It has existed since 1894 when Australia first embraced ‘Universal Standard’ time zones. The correction of this inconsistency makes AEDT obsolete.

In October 1884 an International Meridian Conference in Washington, D.C., recommended the introduction of a global system of time zones based on the Greenwich Meridian with zones of 1 hour difference for every 15 degrees of longitude from the Greenwich Meridian.

The conference strongly recommended that ‘major population areas [e.g. State Capitals] should be situated within the most appropriate time zone’.

In November 1892, an intercolonial conference of surveyors was held in Melbourne to consider the Washington proposals and recommended the introduction of three time zones for Australia in which standard time would be ‘the mean solar times of 120 degrees, 135 degrees*** and 150 degrees east of Greenwich’.

In Australia the setting of time zones is the responsibility of the State and Territory Governments. By 1894 all states and territories had enacted legislation which defined the time zones and the mean solar times for use within those zones.

{The Act that applies in Queensland is the ‘STANDARD TIME ACT 1894’. The responsibility for management of this legislation falls within the portfolio of the STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL}.

Australia inherited two major anomalies. Firstly, Adelaide’s longitudinal co-ordinate of 138.35 degrees east of Greenwich is outside the 135 degree*** boundary mentioned above. In1898/99 South Australia, as was its right, advanced CENTRAL STANDARD TIME by 30 minutes to 142.5 degrees. ANOMALY SOLVED – Adelaide cannot be shifted but the eastern boundary of the appropriate time zone can be.

Secondly, Sydney and Brisbane – two major ‘State Capitals’ - are located at 151.12 and 153.01 degrees, respectively, east of Greenwich. Both Capital cities - as well as a number of other ‘major population areas’ in Queensland and New South Wales - are outside the original 150 degree boundary of A.E.S.T.

The area within this anomaly stretches from Rockhampton in the north to Wollongong in the south and as far west as Goondiwindi and Tamworth. Approximately 44% of our national population now lives within this sector.

Why our eastern seaboard politicians will not address these inconsistencies by using the powers they have within their respective portfolios is puzzling.

The problem will disappear by advancing Eastern Standard Time by

30 minutes – 7.5 degrees, PERMANENTLY - as did South Australia in 1898/99.

Then, and only then, all clocks in Australia would be as they should have been back in 1894:-

· No more confusion at the border/s.

· No more extra costs and loss of revenue when the clocks on the eastern seaboard are not in unison.

· No more than three time zones across the whole Australian Continent.

Innumerable benefits will accrue to Australia when the necessary changes to the relevant legislation are enacted – the most significant of which will be the obsolescence of AEDT - FOREVER.

Graeme Brittenden - Bongaree Q 4507 M: +61 427 423 427.June 2022

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